The National Basketball Association could soon be headed to the Bahamas through its most noteworthy global initiative.
Speaking to a group of international reporters during an online teleconference, powered by Cisco, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer of the NBA – Mark Tatum, said that the league has explored the possibility of having a league prescence in the Bahamas.
“The Bahamas is a great market that we can look to explore. We know there is a great market there and a great heritage with players like Buddy Hield and Klay Thompson in the league right now. We also know its one of those places where we are experiencing a rise in popularity,” he said, “Basketball Without Borders is a great programme that gives us tremendous reach internationally and has been going really well. We have done the programme in other Caribbean locations and the Bahamas is definitely a destination we have considered.”
Basketball Without Borders is an instructional camp organised by the NBA in conjunction with FIBA. it presents itself as a “basketball development and community outreach program that unites young basketball players to promote the sport and encourage positive social change in the areas of education, health, and wellness”.
Organised annually since 2001, 41 BWB camps have been held across 23 cities in 20 countries with in excess of 2,300 participants from more than 120 countries and territories, 33 of whom were later drafted into the NBA. Around 150 different current and former NBA/WNBA players have joined nearly 140 NBA team personnel as staff.
The country has hosted elite level NCAA basketball and an NBA training camp with the Miami Heat, however, Tatum said there are no immediate plans to host exhibition or regular season games.
“Bringing NBA games there is a huge undertaking, It requires a tremendous amount of resources, so we can’t do them everywhere. So while have no immediate plans to host games or exhibitions in the future we have had franchises like the Miami Heat who have hosted training camp there and they have enjoyed that experience. That is something that may be explored in the future. “There’s an incredible demand for NBA games and NBA content around the world, and as we look at where we go, there are a lot of great markets out there that we would love to bring games to,” he said, “The Bahamas has done a great job with a wonderful NCAA event every year with the Battle 4 Atlantis so they have shown the ability to host the sport at a high level and we hope that continues.”
Tatum was appointed NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer on Feb. 1, 2014, following unanimous approval by the NBA Board of Governors. Tatum, a 17-year veteran of the league office, is responsible for the NBA’s business operations, including leading the NBA’s international efforts. He also oversees the Global Partnerships, Marketing, Communications and Team Marketing and Business Operations departments in addition to the NBA Development League.